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Michael Young explains why you don't know who to root for in the current Palestinian mess.

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  • ||

    There's a mess in Palestine? Why wasn't I informed?

  • ||

    Well, if Muqtada al-Sadr says it, it must be true.

    Especially if he's accusing the country (Iran) that backs his rivals for the loyalty of Iraqi Shiites (SCIRI) of being in bed with a group (Al Qaeda) that is killing Iraqi Shiites.

    Color me convinced. I mean, when have Muqtada al Sadr or Michael Young ever made inaccurate and self-serving statements about Middle Eastern politics?

  • ||

    Iranians...see American soldiers deployed on their borders, so they have no scruples about collaborating with Al-Qaeda, or anyone else for that matter, against what they deem to be the U.S. threat."

    Um, yeah, that's just what happened when we went after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Oh, wait, no, it's not. Exactly the opposite happened.

  • ||

    I vote for "none of the above." What a snakepit. I say we withdraw from Iraq and stop supporting Israel, but tell them that we will take no steps to stop or condemn any action they wish to take.

  • ||

    Historically, Muslim regimes have been very good at prioritizing their enmity. If you look at the Crusades, specifically the dizzying set of alliances between Byzantium, Zengid/Ayyubid Syria, Fatimid Egypt, Jerusalem, Venice, France/England, Antioch, the Shi'ite Assassins, and Kilij Arslan's Seljuks of Rum, not to mention internecine fighting among the Ayyubids, you see all kinds of crazy alliances. Shi'ite Fatimids switching off between Christian Jerusalem and Sunni Syria, Saladin refusing to take Antioch in order to solidify alliances with Byzantium, the Mamluks allying with Venice against the remaining Crusader states in the 1260s, the Assassins openly allying with the Crusaders, even alliances between some of the Ayyubids and some of the Crusader states to fight other Ayyubids and other Crusader states.

    There is nothing surprising about Sunni Hamas taking Iranian money when Arab money dries up, about Moqtada al-Sadr trying to vilify his Shi'ite rivals, about the Syrian Alawis joining up with anyone under the sun...if the USA vanished tomorrow they'd realign their alliances to something a bit less convoluted, but there are very few alliances in the middle east that would surprise me.

  • joe||

    If Al Qaeda in Iraq is receiving help from the Iranians, why aren't any of the weapons suspected of being shipped from Iran being used in the Sunni areas?

    We've heard neocon bullshit before about how the latest state they want to go to war with is assisting Al Qaeda. From Michael Young, among others. It was bullshit then, and it's bullshit now.

    Al Qaeda bombs Shiite mosques - in Iraq, in Pakistan, in Afghanistn, and even in Iran. When the Taliban took Kabul, they massacred the Iranian embassy staff.

    This is another load of b.s. from someone who wants to start another war. "Psst psst psst, Zarqawi met with an Iranian agent in Prague."

    Haven't you people spilled enough blood, Michael Young?

  • ||

    Interesting. This account seems to contrast with the view that Iran is an irrational country that's actions are focuses on bringing the 12th imam.

    So, I'm left wondering now that if Iran is pragmatic enough to make deals with groups that consider shiites heretics, why is it impossible to cut a deal with them?

  • Samos3||

    Middle East + Asteroid = Peace

  • Grand Mufti of Jerusalem||

    Various Muslim extremists (note this is a sub-set, not a generality!) have historically made pragmatic deals with the devil when it suited their needs. Consider in WWII: The SS reruited thousands of Muslims from Yugoslavia, Albania, even as far away as Pakistan to serve their cause, and man their concetration camps.

    My point: This makes them different from the rest of the political world how?

  • ||

    I tend to agree with the overall theme of this article. As a general rule it's wisest to deal with the biggest (percieved) threat. then resume infighting... And I concede that the author probably understands the middle east in far more depth than I do. That being said, I have to say that the article seemed to lack a certain degree of nuance. Some ideological differences are too deep to overcome.

    perhaps they're not... maybe I'm drunk.

  • ||

    In a matter of days, Hamas took complete control of Gaza, so that now the Palestinians, without a state of their own, absurdly find themselves divided in two separate entities: a Hamas-led Gaza and the Fatah-dominated West Bank.

    No, what's absurd is that the idea of "palestinian" is even considered relevant to the situation. This collectivist hooey makes me grit my teeth. Hey, those two forests are different! Who'da thunk it?

    The lifelong mosh-pit that is modern south-west asia is not going to get better if we keep reinforcing these silly ideas.


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